Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Professors don't rub off politics on their students
Denver Post ^ | 3/28/08

Posted on 04/04/2008 8:50:22 AM PDT by Santa Fe_Conservative

Conservatives complain that college professors lean left when it comes to politics — and the data mostly show that's true. But new research suggests the personal politics of academics have little effect on what their students think.

The research, to be published this year in the journal PS: Political Science and Politics, analyzes separate surveys on the attitudes of about 6,800 students at 38 universities and how they changed between their freshman and senior years. Then it examines whether those results are affected by the political attitudes of the faculty at their particular schools.

The short answer is no, according to researchers Gordon Hewitt of Hamilton College, an active Democrat, and Mack Mariani of Xavier University, who has worked for Republicans.

It is true that schools with a more liberal faculty tended to attract more liberal students. But on the question of how students' views evolved, there was little impact, Hewitt said in a phone interview Thursday.

About 60 percent of students didn't change their political outlooks much during college. Those that did moved slightly to the left, but the change mirrored that of 18- to 24-year-olds generally.

(Excerpt) Read more at denverpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: college; liberals; professors; students
A week old but I couldn't find anything here FR...and yes I used search 1000 times.

Still very interesting nevertheless, and I've always thought we underestimate our youth today.
1 posted on 04/04/2008 8:52:25 AM PDT by Santa Fe_Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

The experience my son had at college only made him MORE CONSERVATIVE.


2 posted on 04/04/2008 8:56:19 AM PDT by Mrs.Z ("...you're a Democrat. You're expected to complain and offer no solutions." Denny Crane)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

If that is true the Professors probably do themselves in by sounding crazy.


3 posted on 04/04/2008 8:56:36 AM PDT by bilhosty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

By the college age I generally wouldn’t be too concered about a child suddenly adopting a professor’s political views anyway - they’re already old enough to have formed their ideas. This study just shows that the professors tend to re-enforce the liberal leanings that were already put into place by earlier public teachers.


4 posted on 04/04/2008 8:57:08 AM PDT by messierhunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
and I've always thought we underestimate our youth today

No, you fail to recognize that their public schools had already laid the foundation so there was not much more room for them to move to the left.

5 posted on 04/04/2008 8:59:16 AM PDT by Robert DeLong
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

It doesn’t include the concept that the impact of school, teachers and professors may actually start at a much earlier age than college. Listening to what our youngsters brought home from both the elementary school and the high school would suggest at least in our community the indoctrination starts early.


6 posted on 04/04/2008 8:59:18 AM PDT by MPM25
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: messierhunter

It makes those already liberal go radical/communist in other words.

Those who have been taught from an early age that liberalism is simply foolish have their shields up.

I find it interesting, though, that the left at first was denying that the majority of academics were libs, then that there wasn’t attempted indoctrination going on, now it’s just that the indoctrination doesn’t work anyway.


7 posted on 04/04/2008 8:59:43 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

Note this curious claim of neutrality:

“The short answer is no, according to researchers Gordon Hewitt of Hamilton College, an active Democrat, and Mack Mariani of Xavier University, who has worked for Republicans.”

Interesting that Mariani is not described as an active Republican; perhaps another demoncrat who “has worked for Republicans.” For whom? Arlen Specter?


8 posted on 04/04/2008 8:59:52 AM PDT by Elpasser
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

So according to the article:

100% of college students who’s politics changed in college became more leftist.

Out of every 10 college students, 4 become more leftist, 6 don’t change, none became more conservative.

How does this lead to the title “Professors don’t rub off politics on their students”?


9 posted on 04/04/2008 8:59:58 AM PDT by icwhatudo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
Hey, I'm doing my bit. My freshman have to write a paper on the advantages of Global Warming.
10 posted on 04/04/2008 9:00:03 AM PDT by Brucifer (G. W. Bush "The dog ate my copy of the Constitution.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: messierhunter

Darn, you beat me to the punch.


11 posted on 04/04/2008 9:00:10 AM PDT by Robert DeLong
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Brucifer
Excuse me, freshman = freshmen.
12 posted on 04/04/2008 9:03:27 AM PDT by Brucifer (G. W. Bush "The dog ate my copy of the Constitution.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: messierhunter

College students are like Hatians who are Christian during the day but practice voo doo at night. The issue is do students feel compelled to regurgitate the left wing teachers views for passing grades. Brainwashing is practiced submission.


13 posted on 04/04/2008 9:03:38 AM PDT by y6162
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MPM25

“It doesn’t include the concept that the impact of school, teachers and professors may actually start at a much earlier age than college.”

Yes, the damage is done in the public school system.
When I was young, however, my political leanings were established by my parents. I do not recall much political talk
in grade school, but that was in the 50s.


14 posted on 04/04/2008 9:09:44 AM PDT by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava, Slovakia. Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: y6162

And the other issue is whether or not students who hold a conservative ideology are punished for their views with lower grades for the same quality of work.


15 posted on 04/04/2008 9:09:44 AM PDT by messierhunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
I do think students are more resilient that we think, but we need to be aware that this projected model isn't a reality we can afford to embrace. First of all, it isn't really true, and our universities MUST be opened up to a reasoned approximation of the populace at large with regard to political outlook. Allowing 90% of the staff at these universities to be whacked out leftists is just insane.

Let's take a look at just one well known case.

Hillary Rhodam was a Goldwater supporter during her high school years. It was during this period that she was taken under the wing of a leftist religious figure and turned to the dark side. She kept in contact with this individual for decades.

Look at the makeup of our University campuses today. Conservatives can't even voice their opinions on many of them. Student or university pool funds are used to bring in leftist speakers almost exclusively on many campuses.

I think this article is shilling for the left. It sure doesn't address the reality we have seen over the years.

16 posted on 04/04/2008 9:10:47 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (McCain is rock solid on SCOTUS judicial appointments. He voted for Ginsberg, Kennedy and Souter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: icwhatudo

But you missed the phrase ‘mirrors 17 to 24 year olds generally’. The non-college population also shifts left during those years, and serves as a control group.

If the professoriate was successfully indoctrinating their views, one would expect more of a shift left among those in college than among those not in college.

Remember Churchill’s dictum “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you are not a conservative at 30 you have no brain.”

Early 21st century America’s extended adolescense probably shifts the relevant years about 5 years later in life.


17 posted on 04/04/2008 9:21:19 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Mrs.Z

That’s what it did to me, too, and that wasn’t because of the professors, that was from a good friend of mine.


18 posted on 04/04/2008 9:36:42 AM PDT by McKayopectate
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
“Professors don't rub off politics on their students”

That they are even permitted to try is the real travesty!

19 posted on 04/04/2008 9:38:35 AM PDT by SMARTY ('At some point you get tired of swatting flies, and you have to go for the manure heap' Gen. LeMay)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: messierhunter

“And the other issue is whether or not students who hold a conservative ideology are punished for their views with lower grades for the same quality of work.”

I don’t think that’s true. I think students with a conservative ideology receive lower grades for BETTER quality work.

As for my son at Purdue, I tell him to just do what he has to do in the mandatory liberal arts classes to get a good grade. Whatever the subject matter, he has to put in that: “(insert book title) shows how man’s inhumanity to man transcends the class struggle.” It’s total nonsense but it works like an ancient magic spell to open the doors to a B+.

He doesn’t buy into any of this garbage and has been punished for “wrong thinking.”


20 posted on 04/04/2008 9:39:54 AM PDT by henkster (I'm a typical white guy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: henkster

And beyond grading there’s the issue of patronage. If some professor doesn’t write a good recommendation, the student’s graduate and professional prospects are significantly affected.


21 posted on 04/04/2008 9:43:35 AM PDT by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: henkster
"I don’t think that’s true. I think students with a conservative ideology receive lower grades for BETTER quality work."

I agree, I almost went that far, and probably should have stated it that way. How about this? Students with a conservative ideology receive lower grades for ideas that actually work in the real world. lol.
22 posted on 04/04/2008 9:43:45 AM PDT by messierhunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

“But new research suggests the personal politics of academics have little effect on what their students think.”

Most students regard the liberal can as game playing and pay no attention to it.


23 posted on 04/04/2008 9:44:16 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore (If it ain't Rugby or Bullriding, it's for girls.........................................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

“...researchers Gordon Hewitt of Hamilton College, an active Democrat, and Mack Mariani of Xavier University, who has worked for Republicans.”

Note: neither researcher is a Republican. This is a CYA exercise for universities and their professors who are 90% liberal and 100% biased against conservatives. This will be one of the bogus studies cited by academia to try to negate the fact that they are biased.


24 posted on 04/04/2008 9:44:36 AM PDT by kittymyrib
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
As a professor, I don't see obvious successful indoctrination by my colleagues---of course, as Rush says, I AM balance here! However, this completely contradicts earlier studies that showed marked changes leftward by students over a four year period.

Certainly when it comes to religion, the data shows that kids are far less likely to be religious when they leave college than when they arrive.

25 posted on 04/04/2008 9:46:21 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of News)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: TexanToTheCore

liberal cant not liberal can


26 posted on 04/04/2008 9:47:05 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore (If it ain't Rugby or Bullriding, it's for girls.........................................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
And you would expect a study done by leftists to say exactly what about college indoctrination?
27 posted on 04/04/2008 9:50:11 AM PDT by xcamel (Forget the past and you're doomed to repeat it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

They wouldn’t bother to try to spread this propaganda is it weren’t true.

I meet all kinds of youngsters coming from college and they are horribly swayed by what they were indoctrinated into in college. They actually believe there is no way their professors could possibly lie to them. They have the same beliefs of the national media.


28 posted on 04/04/2008 9:52:56 AM PDT by CodeToad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

But they probably keep conservatives from going into graduates studies in some fields.


29 posted on 04/04/2008 9:54:42 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mrs.Z

Me too—I went to the liberal University of California at Davis and then the liberal Georgetown University and every year I became more conservative. . .


30 posted on 04/04/2008 9:54:55 AM PDT by olivia3boys
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
I am personally aware of too many stories to the contrary to give this story much weight. There was a study done a number of years ago that is being revalidated now that shows 30% - 50% of Christian college students (depending on the type college) walk away from the faith. Number one reason given: college professors that swayed them away from their beliefs.

I have bookmarked hundreds of stories the refute this study.

31 posted on 04/04/2008 9:58:24 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
I might actually agree with this

In an intellectually difficult environment,
Magical thinking sticks out like a sore thumb.

In Engineering school, my professors with
“insufficiently rigorous” opinions were
generally held in disdain

This was even more true in Medical school

32 posted on 04/04/2008 9:59:55 AM PDT by HangnJudge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: messierhunter

That the conservative ideas actually work in the real world and the liberal ones don’t is so true.

I took Political Science at Indiana University in the late ‘70’ - early ‘80’s. We had a prof for “Comparative Political Systems” who had obviously not spent a day in a real job in his life. The class should have been called “Soviet Communism Here & Now.” He espoused all the usual garbage about “workers controlling the means of production.” I was working my way through college doing commercial construction. I knew perfectly well that turning the means of production over to construction workers was going have 3 results:

1. The Workers Committee was going to wind up in the parking lot with a keg of beer and a bucket of chicken,
2. The “means of production” (company tools) were going to disappear into the back of the “workers committee” pickups;
3. The building was not going to get built.

What a dunderhead. But, in the early 1990s, Myles Brand appointed him Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. No wonder IU is so screwed up. Now Myles Brand can do the same damage to the NCAA.


33 posted on 04/04/2008 10:08:49 AM PDT by henkster (I'm a typical white guy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

When I was in college in the sixties I exited a degree in History because the History Department was too left wing.

Made it harder to give them raises at year end.

Ended up with a business degree. I would have preferred a History degree but I would not have done well in that marxist environment. Probably would have ended up driving a truck.


34 posted on 04/04/2008 10:11:34 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore (If it ain't Rugby or Bullriding, it's for girls.........................................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

.

So, hey prof's: no harm, no foul. Keep up the good work!

.

35 posted on 04/04/2008 10:14:23 AM PDT by polymuser (Those who believe in something eventually prevail over those who believe in nothing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative
Well, it's certainly not from lack of trying! In the middle of a talk on physics here's a little foil put up by one of Harvard's physicists... Liberal Physicist Crap
36 posted on 04/04/2008 10:15:18 AM PDT by texson66 ("Tyranny is yielding to the lust of the governing." - Lord Moulton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

One thing successful students learn early is to determine what the professor wants to hear, and then parrot that back to him. If the prof wants liberal dogma, then that’s what he gets. It’s all about grades.


37 posted on 04/04/2008 10:24:56 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

My son joined the Marines the day he turned 18. He went to Moorpark College until he was sent to boot camp. He had a teacher that was a liberal and he asked me what to do about a liberal teacher. I told him it was just a game and to play along with it because his grade was more important than trying to make a statement.

My kid went on to become Recon and while out of the Marines, jumped at the opportunity to return and go to Iraq. In his mind it was an opportunity to get involved with something exciting. My kid is an adrenaline junkie.

After he came home he was lost as to what to do with his life that would keep the adrenaline flowing. He tried to get on the Los Angeles Police Department but the fact he went to Iraq was a deal killer.

He got on to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Apparently (unlike the Los Angeles Police Department) being a Marine Recon was not a determent to a job well done. 22 of 23 applicants were in the service. The only non-service recruitment was a woman. My son told me that she held her own.

The point of all this is to keep involved with your kids. Let them know what is BS and where to look for the truth in news.

Sorry that after Duncan Hunter I can not point them to Fox News, Hannity and O’Riely.


38 posted on 04/04/2008 10:30:37 AM PDT by Haddit (A Hunter Conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

In my political science class in 2001, I was the only conservative in the class. And believe me, the other students weren’t well informed about political issues. In the military, it’s almost a 100% reversal! At least in my unit it is. We’re pretty much all conservatives. Sometimes it feels like I joined the Republican Army :-)


39 posted on 04/04/2008 10:36:14 AM PDT by tlj18 (Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LiteKeeper
Anecdotal evidence is not the equivalent of an actual study. Not that I embrace the unstated methodology or conclusions of this highly suspect study, but anecdotes are exactly that.....anecdotes.
40 posted on 04/04/2008 10:41:20 AM PDT by allmendream
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: henkster

Ooh, better yet, tell him to use the word ‘heteronormative’ correctly in a paper. Personally, I’ve found that regardless of what you say around it, just proving that you know what it means is an instant A+ from any professor that’s even slightly liberal. Personally, I also just got an A+ for writing a paper about how zombie movies express a fear of loss of humanity... you’ve just got to find the right classes, and the right profs =)


41 posted on 04/04/2008 10:44:51 AM PDT by Hyzenthlay (I aim to misbehave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: y6162

Agreed. I had a Humanity of Islam class in college. Before that I lived in an Islamic country for two years and worked in intel dealing with Islamic issues for an additional three years. My first two papers for that class spoke of my experience with Islam contrasting to the “peaceful” teachings of the Koran. When my real life experiences did not match the teachings of the religion of peace, I received two C’s. The only correction on those papers was a sentence at the end saying “This paper does not reflect the teachings of Islam”.

For my subsequent papers I lied and wrote about how flowery wonderful Islam was and the world would be a utopia if we all abided by its concepts. I received A’s henceforward in that class.


42 posted on 04/04/2008 10:55:54 AM PDT by Skenderbej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MrB

I think...only from experiencing this in attending Louisiana Tech...that as professors work to get you smarter and they use tons of liberal thoughts and ideas to accomplish this...you the student...start to get very intelligent and ask some really stupid ideas...which can’t be explained away by a incompetent professor. The more naive students might just accept the guy’s ideas as legit...but most folks start asking “opposite effect” questions...which trigger more analysis. So I’d proudly say that the more that a liberal professor says...the more that he damages his student’s perception.


43 posted on 04/04/2008 10:57:02 AM PDT by pepsionice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Skenderbej

If I were you, I would have invited the prof to appear in a video that you planned to post on the web regarding the religion of peace as a class project.


44 posted on 04/04/2008 11:10:12 AM PDT by y6162
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: LS

I don’t know the circumstance of your university. There are obviously some good professors out there, and you seem like you would be one of them. We’ve agreed on a number of issues.

As a general rule, I think kids should be exposed to conservatism on an equal footing with socialism/communism. Of course I’d refer no socialism/communism, but I am willing to let conservatism stand on it’s own, as long as it is presented to be as valid an ideology has the others.

80 to 90% leftist professors? That isn’t right. We shouldn’t allow that. Salespeople will tell you that you have to make calls to get sales. I think that concept is as valid on a university campus as it is in the car dealership. You don’t sell something unless it’s presented in the best light possible.

If we don’t demand that conservatism be taught on an equal basis with the other ideologies, then it will not sell as frequently as it should.

If you had top of the line Mazerattis on sale for $25,000, how many would you sell if the showroom was in a out of the way place in the city with the door locked and the windows covered?

Conservatism is all too often relagated to the out of the way places, with the doors locked and the windows covered.

Our politicians are not selling it. It’s not being allowed to compete on our university campuses. It’s begining to show in our societal attitudes and political choices.


45 posted on 04/04/2008 11:44:30 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (McCain is rock solid on SCOTUS judicial appointments. He voted for Ginsberg, Kennedy and Souter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
You are probably too low in your estimates. I've seen surveys at U. of Denver, U. of Colorado, UCSD, Cornell, Davidson, and some 10 other schools published in "The American Enterprise" magazine, and 90% is the norm, and quite low in some schools.

Cornell had 9 conservatives out of 229 faculty in some seven departments; my school has perhaps five "Republicans" in seven humanities departments totaling well over 100 faculty.

But the problem with "equal coverage" is that it simply isn't going to happen, nor do we really want the government to try to enforce it. While that might seem good in the short run, having the government tell you who to hire on the basis of politics would be the absolute worst outcome---you could easily end up with governments making things, yes, WORSE by saying RINOs were "conservatives." I still don't know how, exactly, ANY conservative gets hired, but it still happens. I know a department (and I won't name it to protect the faculty member) which hired a conservative at our school recently.

The solution is less government aid for all schools. If you get government out, market pressures will force schools to have academic balance, because parents surely don't want their kids hearing a lot of this junk.

46 posted on 04/04/2008 1:30:46 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of News)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: LS

I’m sympathetic to your opposing arguement. I do see problems along the lines of what you address. I would however think that government funds should be predicated on the idea of a balanced education being provided to the student body.

Why should we allow these universities to corrupt our kids with federal dollars.

The feds (and the faculties as well) wouldn’t allow ten minutes to go by if there were 95% whites at these universities. The ACLU would jump in with both feet.

Would you agree, or do you think I’m using a bad model here? Would you state that universities do pretty much reflect proper percentages compared to the populace at large, or would you say they don’t?


47 posted on 04/04/2008 3:37:26 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (McCain is rock solid on SCOTUS judicial appointments. He voted for Ginsberg, Kennedy and Souter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

I agree it’s a worthy objective. In reality, I fear it would only lead to less free thinking and actual conservative ideas being allowed in.


48 posted on 04/05/2008 6:00:11 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of News)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Santa Fe_Conservative

Yes, it is interesting. The studies I’ve read and lifetime events have taught me that the higher educated an individual the more neutral they become. Less educated libs and conservs both are more polarized. What’s always interesting are mixed marriages where one spouse is well educated and the other is just a hs grad. Either way, education will rarely change a students core values. Instead they will evolve and realize that each side has its strengths and weaknesses.


49 posted on 04/05/2008 8:12:40 PM PDT by robininnm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson